Army chief: Israel to continue killing Palestinian leaders; 2nd stage of swap deal with Hizbullah in ''progress''
Israel's Chief of Staff Moshe "Bugi" Ya'alon pledged the army would continue assassinating the leaders of Palestinian movements.
"Pre-emptive strikes will continue because they undeniably weaken terrorist organisations," Ya'alon told public radio in an interview marking Israel's "Remembrance Day", which is observed each year to commemorate the country's fallen soldiers.
He nevertheless admitted that Israel's assassinations of "wanted" leaders "do not immediately dent the motivation" of these organisations and risk fanning the flames of violence through retaliatory attacks.
Meanwhile, Ya'alon on Monday reported progress in the second phase of a prisoner exchange with Lebanon's Hizbullah movement.
"This progress offers hope that the mystery of airman Ron Arad's abduction will soon be elucidated and even that his return to Israel will be obtained," Ya'alon told public radio.
In accordance to the first stage of a German-brokered deal reached in January, Israel released 400 Palestinians, some 30 Arabs and one German in exchange for the liberation of Elhanan Tannenbaum.
The second chapter of the agreement spitulates that the Jewish state should obtain significant information on the fate of Ron Arad, whose plane was shot down over southern Lebanon in 1986 and has been missing ever since.
In exchange, Israel would release Samir Kuntar, who was handed jail sentences to talling 542 years by an Israeli court in 1980 for killing a scientist and his four-year-old daughter as well as an Israeli policeman. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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